Gabon Consumer & Retail Report Q4 2017
BMI View: Real private consumption growth in Gabon will be in negative territory in 2017, after adowngrade of our forecasts for economic growth in the country. Weak oil prices have driven cuts in publicexpenditure and this has impacted on consumer confidence and household spending levels. The economywill pick up from 2018 as higher oil prices and multilateral financial assistance to the economy supportconsumption levels. That said, spending in Gabon will remain largely concentrated on essential goods dueto high levels of poverty, despite the country boasting one of the highest GDP per capita rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Gabonese consumer will be subdued in 2017 amid a difficult economic environment in the country,undermining purchasing power for households. Gabon's economy is highly dependent on oil, but weak oilprices since 2014 have curtailed economic activity, a situation that has persisted over recent quarters. Thishas forced the government to cut public expenditure, undermining consumption and investment. Real GDPgrowth slowed to 2.3% in 2016 and has remained under pressure into Q317 due to constrained publicfinances and persistent political uncertainty. We have downgraded our forecast for 2017 to 1.3%, from 3.1%previously. In turn, real private consumption is now expected to record negative growth in 2017, decliningby 3.0%.
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